Tuesday, October 23, 2012

To Chess or Not To Chess (Blurb)

I enjoy a challenge.  I have fun with puzzles and creating solutions to hard to solve problems. In one way this is why I enjoy being a drafter for an engineering company.  I get to solve real world problems with interesting and logical solutions.  In another way this is why I am a children's pastor.  I get to solve interesting problems with real world solutions.  Sometimes anything is possible and sometimes your limitations create something more than you could have anticipated.  

A game which really pulls all of these qualities into focus is chess.

Guess what?

I am no good at it.  I like to play... don't get me wrong. I would not own a 4 player chess table if I did not, but in the end I am terrible at the game.  For a good long while I believed I was so very clever and could ultimately be a force to be dealt with when up against me in the game.  I remember watching the movie 'Searching for Bobby Fisher' and believing I could be as awesome as him at playing the game.  This never happened.  Anytime I have played anyone with a modicum of skill I am beat down so hard I can feel it for months.. and therefore do not play for a long period of time. 

What is my problem?  Why do I lose so badly?  

I plan in a linear fashion.  It has taken me quite a while to figure this out, but I believe I have the hold on why I am not so good at the game.  I can plan ahead many moves, but as soon as the opposing player makes a move I am not ready for I flounder and wail to keep from the emanate possibly of drowning.  Keep in mind I was once a lifeguard and understand 'freaking out' only makes one sink faster, but still ... this occurs.  While this knowledge has not helped me in gaining ground in bettering myself in the game of chess, it has, surprisingly, creating in me a better ability to 'live' my life.  

To be honest, without Christ this revelation would be frivolous, but with Him it is insanely helpful to me.  Often while in a chess game my hope is just that the other player will make a mistake they did not notice, but seldom does this occur.  I instead make the mistakes in the act of looking for theirs. The choice in my life that has beat back these failures in my life now is I now DO make plans and do my best to stick to them.  While linear in general nature, God has shown and guided me through many situations where so many things have decided to become the proverbial 'wrench' in the gears I understand 'my plans' can and likely WILL change.  I allow for the possibility and deal with the movements of the pieces as the game (life) continues on, without giving up on what I started out to accomplish.

It would be nice to say I was a master chess player and much like a Moriarty to a Sherlock Holmes could create masterful plans while at the same time destroying those of my enemies, but I am not and just do what I can with the small and meager mind I have within my noggin. The difference being I just instead lay my trust upon Christ and do the best I can with the things around me. We all have this advantage under the blood of Christ and should never forget "worry" will never change your situation, but "action" can do wonders.  

You may not be the master chess player but as the Irish proverb states, "When the Chess game is over, the Pawn and the king go back to the same box."

Is there something you are not good at? If so, has it actually helped you get better at something else?


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